Harassment includes any physical or verbal conduct demonstrating hostility toward a person because of his or her age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or other “legally protected status.” The main types of harassment are:
- Age harassment
- Sexual harassment
- Race/color harassment
- Religious harassment
- National origin harassment
- Disability harassment
The EEOC’s position is that it is “critical” for every employer to develop and distribute a written no-harassment policy.
To ensure that your policy is communicated correctly, provide every employee and manager a copy of the company’s no-harassment policy at the time of hire and at least once a year thereafter. The EEOC also recommends distributing the policy randomly at meetings and training sessions, and posting anti-harassment messages in prominent locations throughout the workplace.
A clear, anti-harassment policy is an important first line of defense against workplace harassment. To ensure that your anti-harassment policy is understood and upheld, plan to conduct periodic harassment training. Although harassment training is not required by law in most states, it builds awareness and can help prevent harassment and various types of discrimination.